What is Affiliate Marketing – How Does It Work?

Affiliate marketing is one of the easier way to start online marketing business. It is also very popular as a home business. If you haven’t heard of affiliate marketing, you must be wondering

What is Affiliate Marketing and how does it work?

Affiliate marketing is a process to promote other people’s product or services on your website by using an affiliate link provide by the merchant.

In affiliate Marketing you provide customers to somebody’s products. You look for customers online through your website and the merchant provides the products. If your customers make a purchase through your site, you earn your commission. The amount of commissions varies with different companies, products and services.

For affiliate marketing, there is no inventory or shipping to worry about. You are actually selling other people’s products and make money on every sale.

You can choose to promote anything you like. Any products or services that can help others solve their problem will be a good choice. There is great potential in this business. If you are willing to learn the skill for affiliate marketing, you will be surprised to see what you can attain.

What is Affiliate Marketing- How Does It Work

The above program shows how affiliate marketing works.

You build a website on your niche, hobby or anything you are passionate about. You create the content. In your content you can promote any affiliate products or services.

When customers find your website, interested in your products or services and make a purchase through your affiliate link, you have a sale and you earn commission.

There are many affiliate programs out there. Basically those companies has affiliate program to enable other party to join them for free to promote their products and earn a commission. You will be given a special affiliate link, so the company can track if the sale is coming from you and they can pay you commission for selling their products.

Some companies who employ affiliate marketing are Amazon, EBay, Walmart, Nike

Among all companies, Amazon is by far the biggest affiliate network. When you join the Amazon Associates affiliate program, you’ll be able to promote any item that is sold on their platform.


Affiliate Marketing is a win-win-win business 

All the parties that involve in affiliate marketing benefit from the process.

The company or the merchant

The company who sells the products or services has acquired new customers as a result of affiliates’ effort. They do not need to spend thousands of dollars into advertisement campaign. They allow the affiliates to promote their products and then paid them when there is a sale.

You – The Affiliate

You earn money not by selling, by providing and sharing useful information to your subscribers and visitors and sending them to company for products or services. You do not need to create the products, keeping inventory, shipping and after sale customer service. You just need to get subscribers and visitors.

The Consumer or Customer

The customers benefit from the products or services that are helpful to them and solving their problems.


Pros and Cons for Affiliate Marketing

Like other form of internet marketing, affiliate marketing has its pros and cons.


  • all sales are done online, do not need to phone or meet people
  • can automate the business
  • very low start-up cost
  • no need to be an expert to get started, you learn along the way
  • do not need to quit your job, start as a part-time project
  • spend all your time on yourself, do not need to train others
  • do not need warm markets like friends and relative to sell to them
  • no selling, just by sharing and providing useful information
  • many affiliate marketing program do the work for you, you just learn how to generate traffic to your website
  • no customer service is required. All post-sale query handled by the merchant
  • can scale up with paid advertising, increase sale quickly
  • learn skills that can create your own products and market them
  • can promote anything you want
  • generating passive income. Earn money while you sleep


  • have to learn online marketing skill
  • some level of computer skills
  • have to follow the rules from affiliate marketing programs
  • difficult to establish customer base
  • If you don’t treat it like a business, there will be no sales
  • need paid advertising at some time

How to start affiliate marketing ?

1. Build A Website

This is one of the reason that scare many people away when they think of building a website. Actually building a website is not that difficult. I know nothing about building website when I get started. I learn how to build my 1st website from this course.

2. Create Contents

Write your content like you are talking to a friend, be conversational.

Make your posts engaging with useful and helpful information that your visitors would benefit from reading and would like to know more.

Don’t sell, nobody like to be sold

Focus on a specific niche topic and become the go-to-place for your niche topic. By doing this, you will be attracting lots of visitors to your site.

You may add in some links to products or services related to your content that your target audience may be interested. When there is any purchase made through your affiliate link, you will earn your commission.

You may write the content yourself or you ask someone to write for you for an affordable fee. There are numerous places online where you can outsource your content. One of the most popular site is Fiverr .

3. Attract Traffic

It is important that you provide high quality content consistently to attract many visitors to your site. This is the only way for you to have free traffic to your site.

More traffic means more visitors and more sales.

You may run advertisement campaigns to generate traffic if you have the budget.

4. Make a Sale

When your visitors find your content helpful and decide to make a purchase through your affiliate link, you earn a commission.


Affiliate marketing is selling other people’s products and earn commission with every sale. This is a great way to get started with online marketing.

Affiliate marketing involves

  • Build a website
  • Create contents
  • Attract traffic
  • Make a sale

If you are interested in affiliate marketing, you’ll need to look for a system that will provide you with good training and support. There are many affiliate marketing systems in the market. The one that I am using now to build my online business is Wealthy Affiliate.


A Proven System That Teach You How To Make Money Online

If you want to learn how to make money online and not too sure how to begin, I want to share with you the proven system that I am using now to build my online business.

You will enjoy the comprehensive step-by-step training, free websites, useful resources and tools. You’ll get lots of help and support from the community.

This is free to get started. You can at least give yourself a chance to try the system to see if you want to proceed further.


I hope you have found the information helpful and now you have a better understanding of affiliate marketing.

If you have any questions or feedback, I’ll like to hear from you ?


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6 thoughts on “What is Affiliate Marketing – How Does It Work?”

  1. Hi Christine, great article and for anyone that is new to this Wealthy Affiliate (WA) works. As mentioned in this article it is very easy to do and it’s step by step through WA. Now for some who do not like to write (myself included), Christine has given you a great tool and that’s Fiverr, but before having someone write the content for I suggest doing it yourself it does get easier with time and you can always write an article on a test site first. I’ve gone through the training a couple of time myself and keep going back as I need to because, well sometimes I forget stuff. Getting access to this will give you the ability to do just that. It’s a great product (WA) especially when you are just starting out. Oh and if you are a beginner like all of us once were, there are no upsells what you see is what you get and what you pay for. 

    • Hi Jason,

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience using Wealthy Affiliate’s system.

      I do agree with you that if we write the content ourselves, the more we write, the easier it gets. I like your idea of writing an article on a test site first. As a premium member, we have 25 free Site Rubix websites which we can use as test site.

      Jason, I wish you success in affiliate marketing.

  2. Affiliate marketing is a growing industry. If you join networks like ShareASale and AWIN, you’ll find new merchants across a variety of niche, launching their programs all the time. The thing with these sites is that they don’t teach you how to create a blog or drive traffic and it’s entirely on your own to learn these skills. That’s where a lot of things can go wrong – you might fall for quick-fix software, hyped programs and subscribe to marketing guru’s teaching – just to achieve the results, but often times, disappointing.  

    The industry is easy to get into, but it certainly takes a while to make profit. Many people quit when they don’t see success in the early stage, but those who stayed on are the ones who enjoy the long term income. 

    • Hi Cathy,

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing information on affiliate networks. You are right, these companies do not teach you how to do affiliate marketing. You have to learn the skills on your own.

      It is very important that you learn the internet marketing skills from a company that have good training, resources and support. You will not make money overnight, but with your effort, you’ll gain long term income.

      Cathy, I wish you success in your online business.

  3. Thanks for writing this article on what affiliate marketing are and all it entails. I must commend you for a job well done for taking your time to put up this informative and educative post. Am sure this post is going to be helpful to newbies that just want to start an affiliate marketing business. U have been doing this business for a while now and all along it has been great but like I always tell many newbie, affiliate marketing require time and hard work because your input will determine your output which is your success 

    • Hi Ajibola40,

      Thanks for reading and your commend. I’m glad that my article is helpful to someone looking to start affiliate marketing.

      You’re right. Affiliate marketing require time and hard work. The amount of effort you work on your business today will determine your success in the future.

      Ajibola40, I wish you continued success on your online business.


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